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Justice and Peace group

Integral Ecology

Responding to the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor

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'The Letter'
- a film about the Pope and Care of our Common Home

Thanks to Sr Margaret Fields for hosting a viewing on 17 July 2023 of the film ‘The Letter’, which brings to life Pope Francis 2015 encyclical letter Laudato Si’ – Care for our common home.

A dozen parishioners attended, and found it very engaging.  Ideas that emerged on the day included:

  • We should draw attention to the teaching of the Popes on the environment – the film is a good start.

  • Invite others to watch the film:

  • Focus on our own lifestyles: see following item on this webpage.

  • Focus on issues in the broader community.

Laudato Sì

In his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si':  Care for our Common Home, Pope Francis calls on us all to reflect on  'the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor'. 
During February and March 2022, St Dominic's conducted a series of seven reading sessions to read the encyclical and to explore more deeply its challenging message.

One of the outcomes from these sessions is a guide to steps that each of us can consider in caring for our common home.  This aligns with Pope Francis' message in Laudato Si': “many people today sense a profound imbalance which drives them to frenetic activity and makes them feel busy.” (LS 225).  All are invited to consider the list and adopt those suggestions that can be adapted to our own household, community and spiritual life.  Click here for the guide.
The international Laudato Si’ Action Platform Team  has also listed nine actions that could be taken in the home: 

  1. Reducing waste and increasing recycling

  2. Adopting sustainable dietary habits, such as opting for a more plant-based diet and reducing meat consumption

  3. A greater use of public transport

  4. Choosing active mobility like walking and cycling

  5. Avoiding single use items, especially plastic

  6. Discussing together what lifestyle changes you as a family can make to avoid getting caught up in “a whirlwind of needless buying and spending.” (LS 203) 

  7. Exploring with one another the ways in which you can live in a good relationship with nature right outside your door

  8. Spending time together as a family in parks, forests, by the seaside, or just observing wildlife

  9. Repairing broken toys and sports equipment instead of throwing them away and buying new ones

A reflection of how the themes and insights of Laudato Si' might be reflected in our scripture readings at Mass:  click here for an essay by Columban Fr Charles Rue.

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Follow up to online forum for parishes -
Implementing Laudato Sì

Our 8 March 2022 nonline forum for parishes was built around three engaging presentations that each pointed to a way forward for parishes in bringing alive a commitment to ecological conversion.  Thanks to our speakers, and to all who participated. 

The presentations each focused on a particular framework for parish engagement, but a consistent message was that the approaches are complementary - it's a broad church, but pathways towards deeper engagement can enable us to achieve more than just working on our own.

In addition to the three lead presentations - see text and links under the main graphic - there is other material from the evening now available:

  • Video of opening prayer and reflection

  • Video of introduction

  • Video of Q&A

​A further document outlines the program for the evening, and sets out the prayers that Sr Margaret Fields used to commence and end the forum, as well as some useful links to online resources.

Any queries, or follow up with any of the speakers, can be directed to Denis Fitzgerald, for the organising committee.

Jacqui Remond's presentation was built around the Vatican's Laudato Si' Action Platform.  Click here for a copy of Jacqui's PowerPoint and here for a video of her presentation.

Kerry Stone's talk introduced us to the Catholic Earthcare Parish Program, and she also drew attention to their Inspiring Ideas Newsletter. Click here for Kerry's PowerPoint and here for a video of her presentation.

Genevieve Mougey outlined the approach to parish engagement at the Archdiocese of Washington, as set out in their action oriented Laudato Si' Action Plan. Click here for Genevieve's PowerPoint and here for a video of her presentation.

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